The 1st of December celebrates the 1959 signing of the Antarctic Treaty in Washington. This Treaty aimed to protect the totality of the Antarctic continent (nearly 10% of the Earth) “forever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes… in the interests of all mankind”. More information about the Antarctic Treaty can be found here.
Today, 59 years laters, the importance of such pact is taught to the new generations. In Belgium, APECS organized several visits to schools around the country, during which scientists met with students at both elementary and secondary level. A large spectrum of activities (presentations, experiments, games, etc.) were conducted together by researchers, students and teachers, in order to learn about Polar Regions, Polar animals and the Antarctic Treaty itself.
Children could experience for one day what it means to be a “Polar Researcher”; they expressed large interest and enthusiasm about animals wlife style in the cold and extreme environment of Antarctica, as well as all kind of research techniques used today to study them (see picture). Their excitement and curiosity confirmed once again to APECS members how the subject of nature protection is very dear to young kids, even when it concerns such remote areas of the world.